Monday, January 24, 2011


I enjoy watching tennis quite a bit.

The Australian Open is going on right now. With the time difference, ESPN 2 shows the matches live at night. I guess being able to watch these matches live counts as a good thing about maintaining a graveyard schedule.

I (mentally) cheer for the US players, of course. The Williams sisters are so overpowering that their matches are almost embarrassing to watch. I feel bad for their opponents on most occasions. I am rather fond of Andy Roddick, and was disappointed to see him lose. I think my favorite to watch is John Isner. They guy is basketball-player tall. He also has a great attitude in the interviews I've seen. And, of course, he made history recently at Wimbledon. Longest. Match. Ever.

I started watching tennis when I lived with Louise. She was about sixty years old and ran the local fantasy gaming store in St. George. I rented a couple rooms from her. She is a huge tennis fan. I enjoyed watching TV with her most evenings, so I started watching tennis. And learned to love it.

Now I'm starting to understand what's happening, it's even more fun to watch. Even though my countrymen are out, there are several players that are a joy to watch. Pure artistry on the court. Federer. Nadal. Clijsters. And a new "favorite," Li Na from China.

Plus, watching tennis gives my mind a chance to wander and brainstorm story ideas. Quite a lot of fun.

Friday, January 21, 2011


If you read one graphic novel in your life, it should be Blankets by Craig Thompson.

It makes my heart ache.

I love books that make me feel. At its most simple, Blankets is a story about the author's first love. There's so much more to it than that. It's a recording of the process of trying to find his place in the world.

He draws the book in black and white. While I love color and generally prefer color in my graphic novels, for Blankets the stark hues enhance the story. His renderings are so lovely. His images are detailed and intricate without being cluttered. That's a very hard balance to maintain, yet Mr. Thompson manages wonderfully.

I just barely finished the book again for the fourth or fifth time. My mind is still reeling for the intense emotional input. It definitely goes on the list of my favorite books of all time.

Oh yeah, definitely.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Random-ish thoughts...

So, I'm getting married in May. The 13th to be exact. It's a fun date to have in mind. People ask if I'm sure, since it's Friday the 13th. I tell them that's why we chose the date. As much as I'm looking forward to being married, I find myself thinking more about the logistics. Where we're going to live. I need a job that's more compatible with marriage. The graveyard shift really isn't. Plus, she's got about a year left before getting her teaching certificate, so that means more time in Cedar City and putting off my grad school applications. Lots of thoughts.

I want to run away to Vegas for a couple days. Don't know that it's going to happen any time soon, but I want to go. Visit the Shark Reef at Mandalay Bay. Go to the Peruvian restaurant I know there. Visit the Stratosphere hotel to research for a short story I have in mind (could be interesting as I don't like heights at all).

Some guys my age talk about their dream cars or jobs or whatnot. I have a dream library that I've designed myself. I like it. Nice big skylight. Shelves and books everywhere. A round couch sunk into the floor in the center of the room, with lamps coming over the shoulder. In the corners will be glass shelves for knick-knacks, with hidden lighting behind the glass shelves. I want it to be warm, welcoming and comfortable.

My tonsil hurts. Yep, just one. Gargling with salt water is helping.

Overall, life is pretty good at the moment. No major complaints.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

I've Got a Theory...

...I think I'm insane. Just a little.

See, I have lots of books. Compared to other people my age, I would say I have a lot more than most. I really don't know how much more, as my friends are also readers and tend to have lots of books as well. I don't know what the "average person's" library looks like. What I do know is that it is a huge pain in my back to move. And I move rather frequently, unfortunately.

Anyway, I came up with this idea of questionable value. See, I decided to try and read every book in my collection in the next couple months. Is it possible? Who knows? The only books I'm excluding are my books in French and Spanish. I just can't read fast enough in those languages to make it possible to read those particular books.

I started this project, retroactively, at the beginning of December. And since I'm making the rules for this personal read-a-thon, I don't feel bad about this at all. Once I'm done, I will make a post with books titles and authors. Possibly a series of posts; I have a lot of books.

One of the purposes of this project is to winnow my collection a little. By re-reading everything I have, I can winnow out those books I will never read again. I can then trade those books in at the local used bookstore for books I do want to read. Seems to be a winning situation to me.

Oh yes, I am insane.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Just a Random Thought...

I like to observe how people interact. I guess I could have been a sociologist, but that's not the point. Over the last couple years I have observed an interesting trend.

Women have to have it their way when it comes to the toilet seat. Personally, I don't care. If it avoids conflict, I'll put the seat down. Not a big deal. Not according to some females I've known. To them, if the toilet seat is left up, it's a mortal sin, one carrying something akin to the death penalty. Really, does it make all that much of a difference? Is it that much harder for them to put the seat down when they need to use it?

I definitely understand when there's a small kid in the house or a pet that likes to drink from the toilet. Yeah, put the seat down then. But lacking those situations, why not just leave it as it is for the next user? If you use it down, leave it down. If you use it up, leave it up.

Not a big deal.

At least for me.